Sooooooooo, I asked y’all which kind of blog you’d be more interested in, and here’s your winner 🙂 Transitioning from #GymLife to #WorkLife on the daily and how both of those fit into your #RealLife schedule and routine.
Let’s start with these:
Top 3 tips and the top 3 things to avoid 👍
Tip 1: Make a commitment to yourself.
Yes, I know this sounds like common sense, but it’s harder than it seems. There are SO many days that I have every intention of being good and getting up at 5am before work to hit the gym. But, then I hit snooze too many times, or decide it’s too dark out or too cold, etc. – the list could go on and on. And I know, that as the day goes on, I’m less and less likely to get to the gym because, well, life happens.
(Unless I’m in #PrepMode, then I live there 😏)
To help you make the commitment to your health and well-being: WRITE IT ALL DOWN in your planner, on your phone calendar, in your notebook – wherever you schedule your life. Schedule in your gym time – and be REAListic about it! Before work, after work, on a lunch break – whatever works for you.
Goals and plans written down are more likely to be achieved. They’re front and center and harder to ignore.
Tip 2: Layout your clothes for the next day the night before.
I don’t know about you, but I hate feeling rushed in the mornings. Being rushed makes the mornings stressful and it can be hard to recover from that feeling from then on out.
Make your mornings as seamless as possible. Check the weather before bed, after you’ve washed your face and brushed your teeth, maybe throw in a shower every once in a while for good measure 🤣 – and put your work clothes neatly on a hanger with your shoes (and socks if needed) underneath. That way, you can grab them and go in the morning.
I ALSO lay out my gym clothes. So it literally takes 15 minutes to get up and get out the door to get the the gym in the morning. #Goals
If you prefer to gym after work this still applies to you – however, pack your gym bag the night before then. Clothes, shoes, socks, headphones, bands, anything and everything you need. My gym bag legit lives in my car.
<More notes on this at the end of Tip 3>
I’ve found that if I go home to change after work, before heading to the gym, I won’t go. There’s always too much to do at home or a family dinner that looks like fun. So, keeping a gym bag with your gym clothes prepped and ready removes an extra step in the process – which makes it more likely that you’ll get there 🙌
Tip 3: Keep a “shower bag” in your car.
I literally have a Lululemon shopping bag in my car (a bigger one) – but any bag will work here, doesn’t need to be fancy (hence the shopping bag 🤣) – that has:
• Shampoo and conditioner
• Hair comb
• Dry shampoo
• Travel blow dryer
• Shower (cheapo) flip flops
• Extra panties 😋
• Travel razor
• Face lotion
• Face/makeup wipes
• Body spray
• Baby wipes (for if you don’t have time or don’t want to full on shower at the gym 😎)
• Moderate sized towel – not a full sized one, but not a hand towel – not sure what they’re called lol (some gyms now provides towels, so check at yours before you lug this around)
Having a “go bag” makes your life so much easier, and then you don’t have to transfer stuff from your house to your car and back again.
Side note: As mentioned in Tip 2, I also keep my gym bag, with all the workout goodies and necessities, in my car – and it LIVES there. I don’t even usually bring it inside to “pack” it – shoes and everything stay in the bag – in the car, with the shower bag.
I put my workout clothes in a plastic bag and throw them into my gym bag in the AM if I’m going to hit the gym at lunch or after work.
Plastic bags are also great to have in your gym or shower bag to put sweaty or used clothes in – so you can keep them separate from the clean ones 😁
A couple things to avoid:
Avoid 1: Hitting snooze in the mornings!
There’s actually a bunch of research behind why hitting the snooze button is “bad” for you. And trust, I am a total hypocrite here. If you know me, then you know I am the QUEEN of the snooze button. I’m the human that sets 4 different alarms:
1.”You should get up to go gym.”
2.”You should REALLY get up if you’re going to make it to the gym.”
3. “Ok gym is out, but life has to start at some point today missy!”
4.”GET THE FRIK UP or you’re going to be late!!”
😱 Yes, this may also be the reason I’m still single.
Back to the facts here – you should get your body on a regular sleep cycle as much as possible. Hitting snooze wakes you up from REM sleep, and although you may be “tired” and think that sleeping a few more minutes #JustFiveMoreMinutes is worth it, you could be messing your body clock up even MORE.
Check this info out from Reena Mehra, M.D., M.S., Director of Sleep Disorders Research at Cleveland Clinic:
“Much of the latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep, which is a restorative sleep state. And so, if you’re hitting the snooze button, then you’re disrupting that REM sleep or dream sleep.”
Dr. Mehra said we have different arousal thresholds during different stages of sleep, and if we’re disrupting late stage REM sleep, it can cause a ‘fight or flight’ response – which increases blood pressure and heartbeat.
Plus, she said, the short period of sleep that we get in between hitting the snooze button – five, ten minutes at a time – is not restorative sleep.
Goal = 7-8 hours sleep/night
Lack of sleep can cause a whole host of health issues if you’re regularly getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night – blog for another time though.
Avoid 2: Not having a balanced diet.
A HUGE mistake a lot of us make = DIET. And I’m not saying it like “you need to be on a diet”, I’m saying it as what actually goes into your body. As Americans we usually eat wayyyy too many carbs and not enough protein. And a lot of these carbs are sugars, which as delicious as they may be – aren’t necessarily good for us… Especially items that contain “added sugars”. We can get into what all that means at a later date but for now, the basics are this:
• Protein at every meal!
Make your breakfast ahead of time for post AM workouts – DO NOT SKIP your post workout meal. Your body needs protein and carbs to refuel. Legit, I keep protein and a blender bottle in my desk at work just in case. Single serving protein packets are great for on-the-go too!
• “Meal prepping” and packing your lunches is a great way to control what goes in your body – vs. eating out every day or skipping meals when you get busy (we all do it).
• Sauce on the side.
When you do go out to eat, instead of letting the restaurant drown your salad in dressing or your salmon in a lemon butter sauce – ask for the sauce and/or dressing on the side (OTS). This helps make you more aware of what you are consuming, and how much of it.
• Try to get a veggie in at every meal.
Spinach in your protein shake or eggs is an easy add in (or kale), and honestly doesn’t really taste like anything IMO.
NOTE: Not all veggies are created equal!
Some veggies like: corn, carrots, snap peas, etc. have a high amount of natural starches/carbs/sugars. Yes, natural is better than processed, but it’s still something to be conscious of. So, if you are eating corn with your steak, skip the mashed potatoes. Broccoli would be a good sub for the corn if you want some potatoes 👍 OR just have a little of both and add a green veggie to compliment the dinner.
• Read the labels on the foods you buy. The FDA just recently changed the nutrition facts on food labels.
> Calories from fat are going away, however the unhealthy saturated and trans fats will now show percentages.
> Calories will be bolder to stand out more and portion sizing is going to be made “more realistic”.
> In addition to showing total percentage of calories from sugars, labels will now also show percentage from ADDED sugars.
This info will be helpful (for you and your diet) when it comes to choosing products that have lower amounts of added sugar.
NOTE: Less than 10% of your daily calories should be from added sugars.FACT: Did you know that the main sources of added sugars in the United States are: sugar sweetened beverages, snacks and sweets – which includes yummy candies and desserts? If you tend to eat or drink even one large serving of these foods or beverages per day, then you are likely getting more than the recommended daily limit of added sugar.
Avoid 3: Putting X,Y or Z off.
Yes, you can always “start tomorrow” or be better the next day – but the goal is to change your FRAME of mind.
One day or day one – you choose.
There will always be excuses or reasons to not make it to the gym, but anything is better than nothing! If you can’t get to the gym in the mornings do some abs in the living room while you watch your show or the weather channel. Or take your dog (and/or child) on a 20-minute walk around the neighborhood when you get home.
Taking care of yourself physically, helps you MENTALLY. They are linked y’all. Endorphins make you happy (which you get from working out!), and happy people don’t just kill their husbands. #NameThatMovie
So, this is WAYYYYYYY longer than expected – but hope you found it informative and useful. Part 2 we will discuss the gym and work life balance for your “real” everyday life and what that looks like for different people.
Please, let me know if you have any questions!
Let’s do a quick recap here:
Tip 1: Make a commitment to yourself and WRITE your gym schedule into your calendar.
Tip 2: Layout your clothes for the next day the night before and prep your gym bag and gym clothes too. This way, you are ready to go no matter what time you’ve planned the gym into your day.
Tip 3: Keep a shower bag in your car so you don’t have to worry about if you have what you need or not and can focus on gymming.
Avoid 1: Hitting snooze! Messes with your sleep cycle and REM sleep – Just. Get. Up.
Avoid 2: Not having a balanced diet. Focus on eating more protein and less added sugars – and make sure you have a good breakfast after an AM workout or a good (well-rounded) dinner after a PM workout. Meal prepping can help you be more aware of what you’re actually consuming and cutting back on eating out is good for your body too, and your wallet 😎
Avoid 3: Putting X, Y or Z off. Legit: Day one or one day – you CHOOSE.
Let’s get REAL about taking care of ourselves and what that requires.
Let’s get uncomfortable and work on updating our frame of mind and our overall awareness regarding our bodies and health.